Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Relinquishment

“They’re not mine, well at least I don’t think so”. The baby girl barely old enough to walk, the boy just a year older, but wise beyond his years already. “Their Mother has run off and I've got three others to care for, I just can’t do it anymore”. He hastily scribbled his name and address on a crinkled receipt and handed it the woman at the church. There began their journey……both experiencing completely different lives, separate but still connected in a disjointed twist of fate…..both enduring their own pain, insecurities and traumas…….both surviving it all.
The road to a stable life was difficult at best, shuffled between temporary foster homes, each time being handed over to strangers whom you were told would take care of you. Some tried; others simply couldn't have given a shit about your well- being.   Survival is the ultimate goal, don’t get attached.. not to anyone or anything at any cost.
The next time the man appears is in a court room before a judge…..”Do you relinquish your parental rights Sir?”  The man lets out a long heavy audible sigh………”Well I never thought they were mine to begin with.” They say kids don’t understand what adults say at a young age……..I can tell you for a fact that isn’t true…..I can still hear those words ringing in my ears and the sound of a pen scribbling across crisp paper on a hard wooden table top.  The words stinging like a final verbal slap in the face, one final attempt to add insult to injury. Couldn't you just pretend for thirty seconds that letting us go hurt you as much as it hurt us that you didn't want us?
And there began their journey………brother and sister by birth…..distant relatives by law……..never again the same.


  1. Adults should take responsibility for their actions. Period.

    If a man and a woman have sex, a baby is a possible consequence of that action. It might be planned or it might be accidental, but the possibility that a pregnancy might be a consequence of sex is not exactly a secret.

    I am on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate, so I think that is an option for terminating an unwanted pregnancy (although it shouldn't be a substitute for birth control). But if a couple, married or otherwise, have sex and a baby results they have a responsibility to give that child the opportunity for the best life that the parents can make possible.

    A mother who willingly abandons her child without making adequate provision for the child's wellbeing (adoption into a good home) is a major asshole. A father who willingly abandons his child without making adequate provisions for the child's wellbeing is no less of an asshole, for he had equal responsibility for the act that created that child. And there aren't words to describe the hideousness of, not only abandoning your child, but slapping them in the face, rhetorically or literally, in the process.

    And the children—who can't be anything but innocent because they haven't yet had the opportunity to be culpably guilty—are the ones who suffer. It is shameful, to say the least.

    I understand that the man is not sure that he is the father, but if he is not sure he is then he is not sure he isn't. And, regardless, he apparently had for a time accepted the responsibilities of a parent. He, thus owes a debt to the children. And, as a human being, he owes them some respect and kindness.

    Kat, if you are one of the children, my heart truly goes out to you. If so, hope you are healing.

  2. Great post, Kat. Two good friends of mine grew in orphanages, and weren't adopted until they'd reached later adolescence. Like Joel, I'm hoping that if you were one of the children in your story, that you've found healing and resolution.

  3. Oh, Kat. There is a lot of heartbreak in that story, and it's a story I'm afraid more than a few kids have experienced. Like Helena, if this is your story I hope you've been able to heal and find peace with it all. Sad.

  4. I haven't read your threads before but will now begin...Thank you for evoking emotion, thought and compassion. I'd love to see how the children share their experiences for the sake of empathy and inspiration to use the past for the food of the future!